Archive for October, 2009


People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: Oct 15, 2009

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onthemove

Despite a downturn in the economy, we continue to recognize those moving in the social media space. I’ve started this post series (see archives) to both track and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:

  • MySpace is finally filling its executive board after ushering out nearly the entire leadership team at troubled social network. They’ve recruited an experienced team to turn the ship around starting with Nada Stirratt has joined MySpace in the role of Chief Revenue Officer, Dustin Finer has come on board as MySpace’s Chief People Officer, Ali Partovi, former CEO of iLike, will serve as Senior Vice President of Business Development based in San Francisco, Hadi Partovi, former president of iLike, will serve as Senior Vice President of Technology based in Seattle. More information can be found on CEO Owen Van Natta’s Blog.
  • Adam Nash, has been internally promoted at LinkedIn as the Vice President, Search & Platform Products at LinkedIn. We recently spoke, and he emphasized LinkedIn’s commitment to his space, hence crafting his role. I’ll be watching this area of opportunity closely, congrats Adam.
  • Vanina Delobelle left Monster and is now working for Sears Holdings Corporation in Chicago. As I a manager of e-commerce Product Management, Vanina will build a social commerce solution.
  • Microsoft gets serious about Social Computing and launches the Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs, a new group led by general manager Lili Cheng that will focus on software and services that are centered on social connectivity, real-time experiences, and rich media.
  • Sheila Scarborough launches new social venture in her role with a focus on social and tourism, her blog captures her hard work, get some sleep already!
  • James Whatley @whatleydude left his role as Head of Digital, Social Media for SpinVox at the end of August and has taken up a position as Director of Engagement Strategy at WOM Agency, 1000heads.
  • Bob Bahramipour joins InXpo a virtual events company, as CMO to oversee all aspects of marketing, including advertising, brand awareness and product marketing, to further drive adoption for the company’s virtual solutions. This also includes social media and how to incorporate this further into our platform. I’ve met Bob in person, and recognize his talents, I expect to see good things spring from his fresh perspective.
  • John Hegstrom is a new VP of Client Services also at InXpo a virtual events company. His goal is to ensure that customers successfully reach their target audiences, deliver their messages effectively, and build engaging and collaborative virtual environments.

How to connect with others (or get a job):
Several people have been hired because of this blog post series, here’s how you can too:

Submit an announcement
If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, fill out this form.

Seeking Social Media Professionals?
If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

List of Enterprise Social Media Professionals
This list, which started with just 8 names continues to grow as folks submit to it. List of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers for Enterprise Corporations 2008 –Social Media Professionals. Other job resources include:

  • Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (Post a job there and be seen by these blog readers, these affiliate fees pay for my hosting)
  • Read Write Web keeps announcements flowing at Jobwire, although is broader than just social media jobs
  • Facebook group for community manager group in Facebook
  • Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Teresa has a few jobs, some around community
  • New Media hire has an extensive job database
  • Social Media Headhunter
  • Social media jobs
  • Jobs in social media
  • Altimeter Group’s list of social media consultants and agencies
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, please)

    Video: Access Internet Content in Physical Context Using Augmented Reality

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    I recently spoke with Dave Elchoness of GoWeb3D who’s one of the early pioneers in the Augmented Reality (AR, but not to be confused with Analyst Relations) industry. In this above video he gives a demonstration of how information (often from the web) can be over layed on top of physical locations. Unlike Virtual Reality (like the now obscure Second Life) the barriers to entry are mobile devices, internet access, and utility can make this a reality.

    Dave’s business GoWeb3D provides a data layer on top of the Dutch Layar browser (update: also see Wikitude “World Browser) which is available for some mobile platforms –iPhone is coming. This browser will allow developers to create data layers what will provide AR experiences. Users of this application can “drop” digital content such as blog posts, photos, videos, for their friends or customers who visit a specific location in real life.

    [The promise of Augmented Reality is to provide existing internet content in physical context]


    What types of business can benefit from Augmented Reality? Any retail or commercial entity with a physical space, any company that sells physical products, any company that does advertising in real life. Despite the promises the biggest challenges will be creating useful applications beyond the ‘cool’ factor. I’ve been using the Yelp “Monacle” feature, which is an interesting first generation –yet the data isn’t always accurate.

    I’m still chalking this space as “to watch” as we should first expect growth to happen in the mobile social web first, let’s keep an eye on promising emerging technology as it quickly comes around.

    Altimeter Report: Customer Bill of Rights – Software-as-a Service

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    If you’re in the market to buy web based collaboration tools, community platforms, CRM, or any software as a service application, know your rights before you buy.

    A few months ago Charlene Li, founder of the Altimeter Group launched her Engagement Database report, which showed which brands were most active with their customers in social sites. Today, we’re proud that partner Ray Wang launches the Software as a Service Bill of Rights for customers, you can view, download, or share the document from his blog.

    Our research wasn’t created in a hole, we want to help the community that we serve and involved 57 ecosystem partners for their feedback, input and guidance. We’ve also made the research available using Creative Commons–meaning we encourage it to be shared with others.

    How to use the Software As A Service Bill of Rights

    • If you’re a buyer of any of these markets, use this document as a checklist to ensure your rights are being met.
    • Have a dialog with your vendors, asking them where they fall within these bill of rights and where they differentiate.
    • Encourage your existing vendors to follow these rights as you negotiate your next renewal.

    How Speakers Should Integrate Social Into Their Presentation

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    Whether you’re a professional speaker, company representative, or panelist at a conference, you must develop a social strategy during your speaking.

    The Audience Continues To Gain Power Over Speakers
    A few years ago, the first major eruption occurred from the audience hijacking the attention at SXSW during an ill-fated interview on the main stage. Even weeks ago, Kanye’s debacle was commented on by Twittering attendees despite them not even having the mic.  (Update, a speaker gives her first hand story of an audience revolt on Twitter)

    This week, an audience revolt happened at the Higher Education Conference, you can read about it here, here, here and here.  Although I was miles away, I was watching it unfold in real time on Twitter search –I felt horrible for that speaker who likely didn’t even know what was happening till someone posted his phone number on Twitter and people were texting him how horrible he had done. Ouch, the audience was vindictive and felt injured and wanted to get back.

    Savvy Speakers Will Engage With Audience In Real World –and In Digital
    Critics would suggest that monitoring the backchannel is counter intuitive to what a speaker should be doing: focused on presenting.  Yet, I’d argue that some power has shifted to the audience –and with that comes responsibility of the speaker to respond to the power shift.  As a speaker (I’m now represented by Monitor Talent), I feel empathy and at the same time am scared this doesn’t happen to me.  The best way for speakers to avoid this revolt is to make sure that they be aware of the changes in power shifts and develop a plan to integrate social.

    How Speakers Should Integrate Social Into Their Presentation:

    Prepare More Than Ever.  This is baseline. I could give a long list of speaking dos and don’t but there’s been books, classes, and private coaches that provide that (something I’m going to continue to invest in as I grow). It boils down to: know your audience, have strong content, practice, repeat.  The change here is that the audience will scrutinize you, grade you, for all to see.

    Know Your Audience’s Social Technology Adoption. While the first audience revolt was at SXSW, a new media tech conference, where adoption of new communication tools is likely.  The Higher Education conference wasn’t focused solely on technology (update: in the comments, I learned this was a technology conference), so this revolt has moved out of the technology scene.    You’ll need to pay attention to this more at conferences where social is active, first gauge the discussion in chat rooms or twitter using search tools.  Find the conference hashtag (if there is one) to determine level of activity.

    Monitor the Backchannel While Speaking. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Guy Kawasaki keynote a large conference, he monitors the body actions from the crowd and commands attention of the audience, he’s making micro-tweeks to his presentation to engage and react.   Just as speakers do this in the real world, they must be monitoring the verbal, explicit reactions in the backchannel like Twitter or a chat room.   Ask coordinators to display a monitor on stage facing you to see hashtags, use your mobile phone, or have your computer on stage to quickly see the stream.

    Develop Backup Resources to Monitor. Some speakers have told me this is nearly impossible for them to do as they are focused on presenting content, here’s two tips for you. Speakers who are unable to monitor the backchannel should have a buddy attend the speech, sit in the front row, or off stage, and indicate if there’s something out of the ordinary they need to respond to.  If your speaker content is rehearsed –it should be second nature to present it.   Scoble is known for taking “Twitter breaks” during his presentation every 15 minutes to gauge the audience feedback.

    Interact with the Audience: If your speech is going well, a majority of the tweets will be echos of what you’re saying then retweets.  However, some speakers should monitor and look for questions, comments, or interesting new information that would add to the presentation.  For example, at the Web 2.0 expo, I saw an audience member say my panel was boring on twitter, so I immediately shifted to Q&A which kept the audience interest.

    Practice Two-Fisted Speaking. In the future, we may start to see presenters with two devices in hand: the presentation clicker in right hand, and cell phone in right hand, monitoring the flow of conversation.  Despite the presenter having great control with the clicker controlling the flow of conversation, ultimately the audience has more control as they scrutinize, talk to each other, and shape a complete other conversation.  Speakers should practice integrating input as they output in real-time first in private, then integrate into their performance.

    I’d love to hear from you how speakers should respond to the power shifting to the audience, I know there’s a lot I can continue to learn in the craft of speaking.  What should speakers do?

    Related Resources:

    Revealing Google’s Stealth Social Network Play

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    This post was collaboratively written on a wiki by Charlene Li, (who’s cross-posted) who maintains a focus on Leadership Strategy and Jeremiah Owyang, who maintains a focus on Customer Strategy. Together, we’re covering the convergence of emerging technologies at the Altimeter Group.

    Google has quietly been launching a social network right under our own chins. No, it’s not about Google extending Orkut, a social networking platform they developed a few years ago, or growing Google groups, or even launching their own version of a Twitter. Instead they’ve been releasing small bits of social networking features, little by little. Previously, we’ve made the case that email is already the largest social network, however Google’s plans go beyond Gmail. First, let’s define what to look for, in order to identify what Google is concocting.

    Defining Social Networks
    To start with, we define a social network as having three baseline components: 1) A profile that contains a person’s information; 2) The ability for people to connect to each other via those profiles, often called a social graph; and 3) the ability to do something useful or valuable they couldn’t have done otherwise. Features such as discoverability or public access are often cited as social network features, but we believe that the common denominators across most social networks are the three characteristics we listed.

    Now that we agree on the definition, we can see that Google is launching each of these features with little fanfare. Let’s break down what’s happening. Google allows people to:

    Maintain a Rich Profile. Google recently launched new features called Google profiles which allows users to upload profile pics, include personal information and preferences, and allow it to be discoverable on the web. These are coupled with a Google account such as gmail, and is at the core of these efforts.

    Connect and Communicate With Others. Individuals using the Google profiles can connect to each other and share information using a variety of tools, not all of them necessarily social. For example, Gmail and Google Talk contain not just your contacts, but also understand with whom you communicate the most. Google doesn’t explicitly ask if you’re a ‘friend’ or ‘fan’ of someone, but rather, allows people to connect to each other in a variety of communication tools. And most recently, Google launched Google Sidewiki, which allows anyone to add comments to any page on the Web with just a Firefox plug-in.

    Centralize Information In A Useful Way. Allowing people to build profiles and communicate with each other isn’t of much value unless it can provide a more useful experience not previously available. Google provides a number of tools like Google Wave, a collaboration tool we’ve started to experiment with, Gtalk instant messanger, and Gmail which rivals Facebook’s newsfeed, chat, and inbox respectively.

    Google’s Stealth Threat
    The difference between Google and destination social networks like MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook is that Google doesn’t have a specific URL. Instead, it is creating elements that envelope the web, by enabling every online (and mobile) activity to possibly be social one –then running it all on their own centralized platform. Google isn’t going after a frontal, brute force assault on Facebook and the other social networks — it simply can’t win at that game on a global basis. Instead Google is pursuing a softer approach, a zen-like attach much like water flowing around a rock. It is using its strengths — ubiquity and open platforms — to put “social” into every corner of the Web.

    This is the stealth threat — that today’s social networks won’t really be losing share to the “Google network”, but rather, that they will become slowly less relevant as EVERYTHING gets social thanks to advances by Google. Their end goal? Google’s social network is designed to exist everywhere –not be centralized in any one location. By the way, two can play at this game and we see Microsoft making similar moves in the future. (Edit: It was pointed out to Charlene that Yahoo! is also making similar moves with its social APIs).

    Key Takeaways

    1. Enveloping The Social Web Is Core To Google’s Strategy. This is inline with Google’s traditional strategy of organizing the world’s information –then serving up monetization options around it. Although a few years late to the game, Google’s move is crucial as they already have large amounts of information about what you look for, who you know, and the activities you do. It’s a natural step for them to also organize and make sense of the social and behavioral information that people create. In addition, Google — who already has long term relationships with agencies, brands, and marketers — will be a natural place for companies to look to for advertising and marketing opportunities around social data, rather than new players and start-ups.
    2. Google’s Recent Moves Threaten Incumbent Social Networks. Facebook and other competitors will need to quickly spread it’s Facebook Connect platform and evolve it to something that doesn’t even require APIs or registrations. The challenge with Facebook Connect is it requires the website owner (publisher) and the user to opt-in and allow for content to become social. With Google’s SideWiki, only the users need to opt-in, which will cause adoption to spread must faster. Facebook will need to extend it’s inline browser (surfing the web within the context of facebook.com) or developing their own browser to counter Google’s moves. Facebook’s core conundrum is balancing personal and often private information of its community with the need to expose information in public in order to be relevant in search and eventually advertising.
    3. Despite Privacy Concerns, Users Will Continue To Use Google. Although privacy concerns will continue to be the mainstay of objections, the benefits to the common user will outweigh any critics. We know that people will verbally object to their privacy being an opportunity for another company, yet they continue to behave in a way opposite to their objections. Why? For most, they’ve grown to trust players like Google. Or they are willing to give up control of some information in exchange for convenience, such as having social data conveniently show up on Google Maps on your phone. And for others, the price of privacy can be measured by what information they will give up to get ‘free shipping’. The root concern isn’t broadly about privacy, but specifically about privacy in the context of when you’re not in control of it. Google is highly motivated to maintain the trust of users and will do everything possible to continue earning and deserving that trust.

    We’re not the only ones to notice this trend, Search Engine Watch also characterizes Google as a social media company. We hope our viewpoint sheds light to where Google is heading, and hope to hear your viewpoints too.

    People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: Oct 6, 2009

    9

    onthemove

    Despite a downturn in the economy, we continue to recognize those moving in the social media space. I’ve started this post series (see archives) to both track and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:


    How to connect with others (or get a job):
    Several people have been hired because of this blog post series, here’s how you can too:
    Submit an announcement
    If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email. Please include a link to your announcement, and ensure you’re really living and breathing in the social media world –this is not a small aspect of your role.

    Seeking Social Media Professionals?
    If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

    List of Enterprise Social Media Professionals
    This list, which started with just 8 names continues to grow as folks submit to it. List of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers for Enterprise Corporations 2008 –Social Media Professionals. Other job resources include:

  • Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (Post a job there and be seen by these blog readers, these affiliate fees pay for my hosting)
  • Read Write Web keeps announcements flowing at Jobwire, although is broader than just social media jobs
  • Facebook group for community manager group in Facebook
  • Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Teresa has a few jobs, some around community
  • New Media hire has an extensive job database
  • Social Media Headhunter
  • Social media jobs
  • Jobs in social media
  • Altimeter Group’s list of social media consultants and agencies
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, please)